2017 Flagship Roundup

Mabuhay, Manila.

This is your guide on your latest 2017 flagship phones currently available in the Philippines. In case, you know, you were looking for one and couldn’t decide on which one to get.

The phones named in this article are presented in no particular order.

The LG G6

What you get:
13MP Dual camera setup with 125 degree angle secondary camera
18:9 aspect ratio display

The latest flagship from the Korean contender boasts all the good things you would want in your flagship phone without breaking the bank so much compared to the iPhone 7, for example.

Yes, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor is dated but is still well within the high performance category paired with 4GB of RAM. The LG UX has been updated though is still clunky on its own notwithstanding the inclusion of, ehem, bloatware, into the mix.

The G6 shows you that having the latest processor does not mean last year’s models are a slouch. Far from it.

Clad in an all glass construction with a metal band to keep it all together, the G6 is sleek, stylish and a tad slippery to hold. Branding is kept to a minimal which lets you appreciate the engineering of the phone. The unique curved points of the screen introduces a semi awkward feel of the display with how it is cut on the corners though it allows for an immersive feel when viewing content.

The G6 can easily be wielded with just one hand though the farther reaches of the screen, e.g. the notification tray, will require a bit of gymnastics.

The rear camera setup is flush on the back panel which is a welcome aesthetic over other brands. Speaking of the camera, rather, cameras, the secondary lens works great in getting more of the image needed compared to all of its competitors that focused on adding a zoom lens into the kit. The same wide-angle camera can also be used in taking videos in all UHD glory in 16:9 ratio. The 5MP front facing camera is admittedly a let-down in low light scenarios though the wide-angle aspect of the setup is a welcome addition to the limited capabilities on other devices.

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The knock-code and the double-tap to sleep is a welcome feature in addition to the fingerprint sensor at the back that hides the power/wake/lock button. The always on display works great, too, in providing you with things you may need to react on. The weather update lock-screen, which shows beads of water or lightning behind the clouds during rainfall or thunderstorms, is a nice touch in telling you of the current situation outdoors.

Currently priced at P29,990 PHP or $590 USD, it’s a great deal of a flagship device with multimedia features in tow for those that want to create content on the fly.

read more: 

LG G6 vs Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

LG G6 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

LG G6 Review

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom

What you get:
Most affordable “flagship”
Dual 12MP camera with 2.3x zoom

While the Zenfone 3 Zoom does not pack the most powerful processor, the included Snapdragon 625 is still a capable daily driver paired with 4GB of RAM,

The main highlight, as the moniker suggests, will be the 2.3x zoom capabilities of the, well, Zoom. To date, any and all released phones still only have up too 2.0x zoom. While .3x may not sound all that amazing, the Zoom makes it easy to get up close and personal.

It’s a metal build that meets plastic in place of antenna lines – which  is a weak imitation of what the iPhone looks like down to the camera placement. The Apple logo gets swapped out with a fingerprint scanner being the only difference.

Just for the camera itself, the Zenfone 3 Zoom nets you a good deal considering it is the most affordable shooter in the series of flagship phones.

The Zoom function also proves beneficial specially for a concert, for example seen below.

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Wait until you start taking videos on the Zoom you won’t believe the mount of stability it has even when you’re suppose to be shaking.

It will be a standard ZenUI experience now clad in Android 7.1 Nougat which streamline some of the experience but bloatware will get in the way.

Selfie games will come out clear and crisp at 13MP with almost the same capabilities as the rear camera of the Zenfone 3 of last year with some tweaks to keep it budget friendly.

Perhaps the most underrated hardware addition will be the 5000mAh battery that is sure to last you a full day’s use of snapping and taking videos.

Retailing at P23,995 PHP or $470 USD the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom is surely looking like a good deal for all your needs. Sure it’s not water and dust resistant but you get the best features packed in a budget-friendly phone.

Read more:

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom vs Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus


Huawei P10 | P10 Plus

What you get:
Leica co-engineered dual camera (best for black and white photography and portraits)

Taking cues from Apple and Samsung, Huawei kept the “Plus” version of their flagship this time sporting dust and water resistance; but, only for the bigger brother.

The entire construction is of metal that covers up to the front panel complete with antenna lines.

The headliner for the P-series will be the Leica co-engineered lenses that is sure to blow out competition in details and sharpness thanks to the high capacity sensors underneath the camera. The result? The best black and white photos you can ever capture. Yes, it’s just as easy to do this in reverse on any other camera or cameras from any phone but the details are inadmissible seen here. The bokeh or depth of field capabilities are also a plus though a touch on the aggressive software side of the spectrum but once done right photos emulate much of how Leica does it on their cameras (as close as possible, at least.)

The secondary camera does not operate in the same capacity and intensity as the primary one as its only job is to add color and measure depth in case you need to blur the background out. The theory is sound, too seen in photos and portraits when the phone is used by professional photographers.

The Emotion UI that comes with the phone will need some getting used to since it takes away the app drawer of old, the option is still there to put it back, though but the P phones will come without it out of the box.

The one-handed mode activated by swiping on the navigation buttons works wonders considering its large screen real estate at 5.5 inches of 1440p IPS-NEO LCD goodness for the P10 Plus.

The included knuckle gesture, however, which lets you clip a screenshot using your knuckles, is clunky at best which mistakes large finger taps as knuckles resulting in awkward clips.

Photography being the focus of the phone, Huawei executes well in the game with all that you could need in a camera phone. Some drawbacks, however limit its nighttime capabilities specially on the hardware side which the software tries to compensate for though will obviously struggle in.

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Considering last year’s P9 and P9 Plus, the P10 only marginally upgrades from last year’s highlight flagship contender.

You can grab the Huawei P10 and the P10 Plus at P28,990 PHP and P36,990 PHP respectively or $570 USD and $730 USD.

Read more:

2017 Flagship Phone Blind Camera Test

Huawei P10 | P10 Plus review

Sony Xperia XZ | XZs | XZ Premium

What you get:
Best main camera at 19MP with great capabilities
Dated design

This, rather these phones, is your social media powerhouse of a content creator. Sony’s flagship line has always been about creating media for consumption of the general population.

Considering that almost all phones available in the market gets their camera technology from Sony, it’s easy to believe that Sony knows their stuff. It shows, too, with all the greatest and best photos and videos you can imagine taken on a phone.

You will have to sacrifice a tad on the aesthetics side where Sony decided that bezels are still 2017. Additionally, the build of the phone is on the chunky side packing all that high performance tech into the fray. Fortunately your initial line of defense comes in the form of water and dust resistance plus Gorilla Glass 5. It definitely leaves something to be desired.

The 4K resolution on the phone will only benefit from the same content taken by the XZ Premium as the XZs and the XZ will be sporting 1080p screens. The result? Battery drain. Lots of it as the included 3230mAh for the XZ Premium can only last so much if you’re using the phone for its intended use, the camera. Processing capabilities as well as the display will cut the juice down by half with just an hour of use.

Priced at P34,990 PHP or $690 USD, P39,990 PHP or $790 USD, and P45,490 PHP or $900 USD for the XZ, XZs and XZ Premium respectively, Sony sure has the most expensive of the bunch considering you’re basically only purchasing a camera phone.

Samsung Galaxy S8 | S8+

What you get:
Edge-to-edge screen at 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Same Samsung formula from S7 | S7 Edge

It’s easy to love the Galaxy S8 and S8+ just for the aesthetics alone. The tried and tested formula of creating all glass construction held together by a sliver of metal usually curved by the sides to allow the most immersive experience for consumers.

This feature packed flagship takes on all of the hats of the Galaxy S line with iris scanner security features, Bixby, Samsung’s proprietary AI assistant, Dex, a module to turn your phone into a PC connected to a monitor, and so many others we hardly have time or space for.

The entire experience is run by Samsung’s proprietary Exynos processor which specializes in running everything Samsung wants to run in their phones.

The only other phone to not join the dual camera foray improves on last year’s version with all of the expected performance specially great in low-light scenarios. Expect the most vivid results as per standard Samsung affair.

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 is available for P39,990 PHP or $790 USD and the Galaxy S8 Plus for P45,990 PHP or $900 USD.


read more:

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus vs Huawei P10 Plus

Reasons why you should not buy the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus


Asus Zenfone AR: Meddle with reality

Perhaps you now have a good grasp on what separates one of these flagship phones from one another. Which one’s your favorite?

If you happen t have a question or clarification, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit or @MNLMash.

Mabuhay. Manila.

Drew Uy

I do words, food, coffee, and photos. Hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit

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